Gallery Hum: Family Affair

Beate Jeske
Gallery hum
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'When the father with the son ...' it was once said in a film with Heinz R├╝hmann, which flickered across the cinema screens from 1955 and had a title that has become a household name. Likewise, many fathers experience a lot in real life with their sons - but only a few work together with them, not only sharing their private life, but also their professional lives.

Oldtimer department store in the small town

This is the case with the Dutchman Nico Aldering and his son Nick. The senior started trading vehicles a good three decades ago. The 52-year-old now has active support from his 27-year-old son Nick. He can also need this support, because father and son do not run an ordinary classic car trade. One would have to speak of a vintage car department store that the two created in the small Dutch town of Brummen.

Directly on a bypass of the community of 20,000 inhabitants, which is a good 40 kilometers from the German border northeast of Arnhem Located in the province of Gelderland, 'The Gallery Brummen' has been attracting the attention of passing drivers since 2000. Large glass surfaces provide a glimpse into the three-story building, and it is worth taking a closer look. Because what the Alderings has to offer is impressive in its quantity alone. 'We currently have around 280 vehicles on offer,' explains Nico Aldering. Many sports cars from different generations are among them, but also everyday classics and youngtimers.

Thematically, the gallery seems to have almost no limits, and what is offered here to interested customers has to meet one criterion above all: 'We only have Cars that we ourselves think are beautiful, 'asserts Nico Aldering. And continues: 'We don't sell ugly cars.' How good that one can argue about taste, because that way everyone stays satisfied.

Trusted over three decades

That, according to Aldering, only beautiful cars are in one create the three floors of the gallery, the company founder takes care of that personally. 'My father is almost exclusively responsible for purchasing, I mainly do sales,' explains Junior Nick. Around 60 percent of business is carried out abroad; the German market is of particular importance to Alderings. 'Many classics are now traded directly over the Internet',reports Nick. 'Customers buy without having to come by in person and trust our quality.' In the opinion of the father-son team, the latter contributes to the fact that some classics do not even make it into the exhibition. Often all it takes is a phone call to good customers who would like to add a piece of jewelery to their fleet at short notice.

Anyone who visits in person in Brummen will first be invited for a coffee. You can hardly get past the large, heavy wooden table that is set up in the middle of the ground floor between the classic cars. Coffee is always ready there.

The experience of buying a vintage car: bistro, boutique and toy museum

But the gallery is not only home to classics. On the upper floor, guests can fortify themselves in a small bistro and have a wide view of the numerous vintage cars. Right next to this lunch room, Silvia Aldering, the wife of the company founder, has set up a boutique for fine wedding fashions.
'In the past, women stayed outside in the car while men looked at a car,' smiles Nico Aldering. 'Today the ladies like to come to the gallery too.' One can only hope that the ladies do not start looking for a new man when it comes to wedding fashion.

Those who cannot do anything with vintage cars or bridal fashions - although at this point the first option is hardly imaginable is - there are other alternatives under the umbrella of the gallery. The family has set up a lovely toy museum on the upper floor. Of course, there are countless historical car models to marvel at, but teddy bears, model trains, dolls, figures and pedal cars are also part of the varied and attractive inventory.

Popular meeting place for oldie clubs

On weekends, many vintage car clubs use the gallery as the starting or destination point for their trips, and some even come out of artistic interest. In addition to the classic cars, the exhibition also includes works of art, which are presented on a monthly basis. And then there is also a small publishing house under the roof of the gallery, in which Nico Aldering has been producing a magazine for stylish real estate as well as titles for sports cars and tuning for a number of years.
The workshop is also productive, with six Specialists take care of the preparation and repair of the classics. However, there is no restoration here. 'For good customers, we also prepare vehicles for sports use here,' says Nico Aldering.

The subject of vintage cars is not just business for the two Alderings. 'I have nothing in modern cars,' explains Nico. With the classics, the memory of his childhood lives on when his parents owned a hotel. 'The guests always came with such beautiful cars.' Son Nick also uses a classic car as an everyday vehicle. It is currently a Jaguar MkII, with which the 27-year-old travels in style.

The Alderings are also collecting the upcoming classics

Nevertheless, the two of them don't just look back at the past. The company has housed a fleet of other classics in a warehouse in the small town's industrial area - partly because there is no space for these cars in the gallery, but partly because the future of the classics is still ahead of them. Because a good Honda Accord from the eighties, for example, is also stored there as cool and dry as a bizarre Peugeot delivery truck that was once used as a hearse.
That father Nico and son Nick work together and feel good about it, is not a matter of course. Today the son is happy that the father gave him a lot of freedom in learning the job.

In their thinking they prove their close relationship. When they once visited a classic car auction and independently wrote down lists of the classics that would fit well in the gallery, in the end they realized: the lists were identical. 'My father is my best friend,' says Nick. There can hardly be a better compliment when father with son ...

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